Public works department gets half the staff requested for '06

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

There's an old saying that half a loaf is better than nothing, and that's exactly what the public works department received this week.

Members of the public works, infrastructure and environment committee only allowed city staff to hire six permanent waste collection people out of the 13 positions they wanted to fill. It will cost taxpayers just over $265,000.

Politicians will vote on the recommendation at their Jan. 25 council meeting.

The new employees will drive the waste vehicles that will start collecting organic waste when the city's green cart program begins April 1. The city is also scheduled to open its new composting facility to accommodate the organic waste at about the same time.

"We have a brand new facility, we need to use it, we need the collection operators," said Scott Stewart, general manager of public works.

The introduction of the green cart program, and the construction of the composting facility on Burlington Street were fast-tracked to meet the 65 per cent diversion target from the Glanbrook Landfill site by 2008.

Beth Goodger, director of waste management, argued the 13 extra staff would help the department meet those goals.

The city has a complement of 59 full-time employees to provide waste collection.

Hamilton politicians were reluctant, as the city faces a $45 million deficit, and a possible 7.8 per cent average tax increase this year, to grant the rest of the waste department's employment wish list. The other seven positions - five temporary, for two years, and two permanent- are support personnel in the customer service section of the waste management department at a cost of almost $150,000.

The six employees will only be used to collect organic waste in the three areas that the city provides waste management services. The city last spring contracted to a private waste hauler to provide waste services in the Glanbrook, Stoney Creek and parts of Hamilton east areas.

Hamilton mountain councillor Tom Jackson, who has asked city staff to provide about $15 million in possible department cuts, said he couldn't approve new employee hires because of the budget restraints council is under.

"I have a dilemma. I'm supportive of the (waste management) program," he said. "But residents just see the tax increases."

Hamilton councillor Chad Collins suggested the wage rates for the employees be lowered so the city can fill the positions.

Stewart was sympathetic to councillors' plight. He agreed to politicians' request to review the necessity of hiring the extra seven people.

City Manager Glen Peace is expected to provide councillors with a list of budget reductions for their consideration within two weeks.

Public works department gets half the staff requested for '06

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

There's an old saying that half a loaf is better than nothing, and that's exactly what the public works department received this week.

Members of the public works, infrastructure and environment committee only allowed city staff to hire six permanent waste collection people out of the 13 positions they wanted to fill. It will cost taxpayers just over $265,000.

Politicians will vote on the recommendation at their Jan. 25 council meeting.

The new employees will drive the waste vehicles that will start collecting organic waste when the city's green cart program begins April 1. The city is also scheduled to open its new composting facility to accommodate the organic waste at about the same time.

"We have a brand new facility, we need to use it, we need the collection operators," said Scott Stewart, general manager of public works.

The introduction of the green cart program, and the construction of the composting facility on Burlington Street were fast-tracked to meet the 65 per cent diversion target from the Glanbrook Landfill site by 2008.

Beth Goodger, director of waste management, argued the 13 extra staff would help the department meet those goals.

The city has a complement of 59 full-time employees to provide waste collection.

Hamilton politicians were reluctant, as the city faces a $45 million deficit, and a possible 7.8 per cent average tax increase this year, to grant the rest of the waste department's employment wish list. The other seven positions - five temporary, for two years, and two permanent- are support personnel in the customer service section of the waste management department at a cost of almost $150,000.

The six employees will only be used to collect organic waste in the three areas that the city provides waste management services. The city last spring contracted to a private waste hauler to provide waste services in the Glanbrook, Stoney Creek and parts of Hamilton east areas.

Hamilton mountain councillor Tom Jackson, who has asked city staff to provide about $15 million in possible department cuts, said he couldn't approve new employee hires because of the budget restraints council is under.

"I have a dilemma. I'm supportive of the (waste management) program," he said. "But residents just see the tax increases."

Hamilton councillor Chad Collins suggested the wage rates for the employees be lowered so the city can fill the positions.

Stewart was sympathetic to councillors' plight. He agreed to politicians' request to review the necessity of hiring the extra seven people.

City Manager Glen Peace is expected to provide councillors with a list of budget reductions for their consideration within two weeks.

Public works department gets half the staff requested for '06

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

There's an old saying that half a loaf is better than nothing, and that's exactly what the public works department received this week.

Members of the public works, infrastructure and environment committee only allowed city staff to hire six permanent waste collection people out of the 13 positions they wanted to fill. It will cost taxpayers just over $265,000.

Politicians will vote on the recommendation at their Jan. 25 council meeting.

The new employees will drive the waste vehicles that will start collecting organic waste when the city's green cart program begins April 1. The city is also scheduled to open its new composting facility to accommodate the organic waste at about the same time.

"We have a brand new facility, we need to use it, we need the collection operators," said Scott Stewart, general manager of public works.

The introduction of the green cart program, and the construction of the composting facility on Burlington Street were fast-tracked to meet the 65 per cent diversion target from the Glanbrook Landfill site by 2008.

Beth Goodger, director of waste management, argued the 13 extra staff would help the department meet those goals.

The city has a complement of 59 full-time employees to provide waste collection.

Hamilton politicians were reluctant, as the city faces a $45 million deficit, and a possible 7.8 per cent average tax increase this year, to grant the rest of the waste department's employment wish list. The other seven positions - five temporary, for two years, and two permanent- are support personnel in the customer service section of the waste management department at a cost of almost $150,000.

The six employees will only be used to collect organic waste in the three areas that the city provides waste management services. The city last spring contracted to a private waste hauler to provide waste services in the Glanbrook, Stoney Creek and parts of Hamilton east areas.

Hamilton mountain councillor Tom Jackson, who has asked city staff to provide about $15 million in possible department cuts, said he couldn't approve new employee hires because of the budget restraints council is under.

"I have a dilemma. I'm supportive of the (waste management) program," he said. "But residents just see the tax increases."

Hamilton councillor Chad Collins suggested the wage rates for the employees be lowered so the city can fill the positions.

Stewart was sympathetic to councillors' plight. He agreed to politicians' request to review the necessity of hiring the extra seven people.

City Manager Glen Peace is expected to provide councillors with a list of budget reductions for their consideration within two weeks.